The Trump administration plans a series of new immigration rules: what will change
The Trump administration plans to introduce a series of new immigration decrees that, if adopted, will have a strong impact on employers, foreign students, H-1B and L-1 visa holders, EB-5 investors, asylum seekers and others. About the upcoming decrees, the publication wrote Forbes.
Visas H-1B. Due to the stricter rules of Trump's administrative policies, the number of refusals for H-1B work visa petitions has increased significantly: from 6% in 2015 fiscal year to 24% in the third quarter of 2019, according to a recent analysis by the National Fund for American Politics. The new decree on H-1B will make life even more difficult for employers and highly qualified foreign citizens.
What will change? They plan to revise the definition of specialty in order to focus on attracting the best and most prominent foreign citizens using the H-1B program. They are also going to revise the definition of employment and labor relations between an employee and an employer to better protect American workers and their wages. In addition, DHS will propose additional requirements to ensure that employers pay appropriate wages to H-1B visa holders. The planned publication date of the proposed rule is December 2019.
“Undoubtedly, they will expand the boundaries and seek long-term structural changes in the H-1B visa category,” said Linden Melmed, partner at Berry Appleman & Leiden and former USCIS General Counsel.
“But due to the lack of a new government in Congress, this threatens with an injunction, and innovation may end in nothing,” she added.
One way that USCIS can try to implement this rule is to change the theory behind the internal document from March 31 to 2017. Currently, it is used in court decisions that exclude programmers from qualifications as a specialty.
“Companies may be surprised to find out how many different positions do not require a bachelor's degree by labor department standards,” Melmed said.
“Employers may have to rethink how they approach their talent search strategy,” she added.
The new provision, which “will revise the definition of specialty and labor relations between the employee and the employer”, will further complicate the work of companies providing IT services and more. Such companies have already faced much higher H-1B failure rates due to the USCIS policy, which, according to lawyers, was aimed at companies with the aim of more stringent control.
H-4 EAD. The administration continues to put on the agenda a measure to repeal the existing law, which allows many spouses to work with an H-1B visa. The planned publication date of the proposed rule is March 2020.
L-1 visas. The irony of USCIS efforts to tighten the L-1 visa category is that companies are already complaining that the Trump administration has made it virtually impossible to obtain L-1 visas at US consulates in India to transfer employees to the United States. Companies also cite problems with US consular offices in China. “Our rejection rate for L-visas in India ranges from 80% to 90%,” complains one of the leaders of a large American company in an interview.
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Also, USCIS has significantly increased denial of circulation rates for individual L-1B petitions (used for employees with “special knowledge”).
The Department of Homeland Security plans to revise the definition of special knowledge, to clarify the definition of specialty and labor relations between the employee and the employer, and to make sure that employers pay the appropriate wages to L-1 visa holders.
The planned publication date of the proposed rule is September 2020.
Companies note that they are already denied visas by consular officials who, with little knowledge, decide that the company should have a limited number of people with “specialized knowledge,” even if the law or regulation does not say anything about numerically restricting employees within the company.
International students, OPT and illegal presence. The number of international students at US universities has fallen by more than 10% between the 2015-2016 and 2018-2019 academic years. The new decrees of the Trump administration are likely to further push foreign students away from coming to America.
The opportunity to gain hands-on experience after a course of study has attracted many international students to the United States. Many competing countries, such as Canada and Australia, already facilitate the work of international students after graduation.
The administration continues to focus on optional hands-on training (OPT), which allows foreign students to work for 12 months after graduation and another 24 month in science, technology and mathematics (STEM).
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ICE plans to amend existing rules and review the availability of tuition for students with F and M visas.
Ironically, representatives of the Trump administration from the State Department recently praised optional hands-on training. “OPT is one of our strengths,” said Caroline Casagrande, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, during a November 18 press conference on 2019 dedicated to international students.
“And we know that students appreciate the practical experience they get here in the United States. This is one of our most useful recruitment tools and the reason students choose to study in the United States, ”she added.
A study by economist Madeline Zavodni, conducted by the National Endowment for American Politics in 2019, concluded: "There is no evidence that international students participating in the OPT program are reducing their job opportunities for Americans."
In the 2018 year, USCIS issued memos that could result in many foreign students who unknowingly violating their immigration status being denied entry into the United States for 10 years. May 3 2019 The US District Court blocked the memorandum after a counterclaim.
The planned publication date of the new rule is September 2020.
The regulatory agenda of the Department of Homeland Security contains at least two other measures of interest to the educational community and international students.
The agenda (with a scheduled date for June 2020 of the year) says: “ICE offers to check all school officials (DSO) and responsible officials (RO), who ensure that ICE has access to accurate data through the Student Information System Exchange (SEVIS). "
The date item (February 2020 of the year) will establish the “maximum permitted student stay.” Currently, foreign students are admitted to the "validity period" until they finish their studies. Universities warn that moving to a maximum stay can have negative consequences for students.
EB-5: USCIS proposed and introduced (November 21 November 2019 years) significant changes in the category of investment visas, including a significant increase in the minimum investment amount for a foreign investor.
Chain immigration. Unable to persuade Congress to reduce or eliminate most family-sponsored immigrations, the Trump administration has proposed two measures that could significantly reduce legal immigration to the United States: 1) proclamation by the president of 4 on October 2019 (blocked for 28 days by court order) to ban entry without medical insurance) and 2) a rule on inadmissibility on the basis of the use of benefits and social assistance (also blocked by the court).
Shelter. Many of the regulatory agenda items are aimed at restricting the provision of asylum, the provision of which has already undergone massive changes over the past three years. All rules are designed to make it more difficult for people to use the asylum system in the United States.
On the one hand, the “Department of Justice (MOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security are proposing to amend their respective rules governing asylum bans. Departments also propose the abolition of rules governing the automatic re-examination of rejections of asylum applications. ”
In another proposed rule, DOJ and DHS “will amend the rules governing standards and procedures for adopting reliable definitions of fear or reasonable definitions of fear for foreigners who are subject to expedited deportation but want to seek refuge.”
Other innovations may affect asylum interviews, work permits, and asylum procedures.
Other rules. The administration proposes to continue to increase the fee for status change services, to limit future parole and work permits.
The Trump Immigration Administration's regulatory agenda is an attempt to capture changes in immigration policies that are not easy to reverse, regardless of the results of the 2020 presidential election of the year.
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